Volume 11: Part 3- Trebyer: Friday, October 21st, 3:03 P.M.

Friday, October 21st, 3:03 P.M.
Usually before we leave, Rinoa and I partake of the breakfast that Sam makes for everyone in the house.  It's the last thing Sam does before he gets tanked.  This morning I did not eat breakfast.  There are two reasons for this.  First: I didn't sleep.  My entire night was spent obsessing about my relationship with Rinoa.  Where it stood, where it might go, what I can do so that it goes the way I want it to go, and what I must not do so that it doesn't go where I don't want it to go.  Second: Eating Sam's breakfast would mean that I would have to be in the same room with Rinoa, and as much and as long as I spent stressing about our relationship, I was no closer to having a clue as to how to deal with it.
Instead of eating breakfast, I went outside to think.  Gin has a nice backyard, and it looks rather nice in the morning with the dawn light and the slowly dissipating dew.  I was sitting on the grass, looking off in the distance, when Rinoa found me.  I didn't know she was there untill she placed her hand on my shoulder and said, "Hato?  Are you okay?"
Slowly I got up, making sure to face away from Rinoa, and said, "Sure."  After brushing some grass off my pant leg, I made my way from where I was sitting to Gin's office, all the while not acknowledging Rinoa was there.  Gin hadn't woken up yet, so no one was in his office.  I sat alone in Gin's office for about an hour observing the way the light fell through the various containers of alcohol in Gin's display case.  The crystal containers were the most interesting ones to watch.
When Gin entered his office Rinoa was in tow.  Rinoa tried talking to me again and I responded to her with very short answers.  Gin gave us our assignment and sent us on our way.  Rinoa and I made our way to Udendors, a bistro located on the side of Trebyer opposite Gin's house.  The whole time we walked to the restaurant, Rinoa and I hardly spoke outside of confirming the route we were taking and that I had Gin's envelope.  Rinoa kept on trying to talk to me about her neck, to which I responded with a grunt and a shrug.
We got to Udendors and the hostess showed us to a table as she got the manager.  The waitress gave us some menus, which I quickly began to study, noting the subtle differences between the turkey club and the turkey burger.  Rinoa continued in her attempts to engage me in conversation.
"So, I think I know why my neck hurts."  I responded to Rinoa with a grunt and a shrug.  "I think it's due to me sleeping on a couch.  There hasn't been an open bed in Gin's house, or at least not one I've been able to find.  I don’t want to sleep outside because I generally avoid camping.  So I've ended up sleeping on the same couch every night."  Grunt and a shrug.  "If I could find at least a decent pillow, that would be a great help."  Grunt and a shrug.  "Like I'm sure that giant fucking bed that you sleep in must have more than one pillow on it."  Grunt and a shrug.  I'm guessing Rinoa must have had enough of my shit at this point, because she took the menu she was looking at and hit me with it.  This caused me to react with something other than a grunt and a shrug.
"Don't you what me.  I'm trying to talk to you and all you do is grunt at me.  What's your damn problem?"
I didn't want to tell Rinoa about what I thought was wrong, so I mumbled, "Nothing," and put my menu back in front of my face.  Rinoa did not like my response, and let me know it by hitting me with her menu again.  I reacted to this the same way I did the first time.  "What?"
"You've been giving me the cold shoulder all day.  What happened?"
"You know what happened."
"No, I do not know what happened.  Tell me."
"What was up with the way you described me to your friend Chelsea yesterday?"
"What do you mean?"
"You referring to me as some guy I'm working with.  Not this guy I've been seeing, a friend I just met, or a specimen like Chelsea referred to me as.  No, I'm just some guy.  Some random guy you happen to be working with at the present moment."
As I was talking, a change came over Rinoa's face.  If she wasn't mad at me before, she became mad then.  "You infant.  This is why you're upset?  Let me tell you something, Hato.  I've only known you a couple of weeks.  I barely know anything about you.  Before today, you were some guy to me.  Just some guy.  Now, after what you said, you're some weird slightly obsessed guy I know."
"What about all those talks we had?"
“What, the ones where I obsess about art, like I always do, or do you mean the ones where I was venting.  I was venting on you because you were there.  Venting.  Nothing more.”
"What about the day at the museum where we spent the day running around and seeing all the exhibits.”
"I thought Sam had sent you there to find me.  Me talking to you about the art in that museum was me making sure you weren't going to rat me out.  After that, again, I was obessing about art!”
"So, I mean nothing to you?"
Rinoa answered my desperate question, delivered with a quivering lip, with a very stern tone.  "Yes."  Rinoa accentuated her denial by putting her menu in front of her face and slightly turning away from me.
There it is.  The relationship I was trying to develop with Rinoa is over.  Done.  Finished.  Finished because of me.  Because of what I did.  I fucked it up.  Me.  Fuck.
Hato Shurtleff

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